Pocock in line to join Cipriani at Wasps
Published 17/02/2016 | 02:30
Having secured the return of mercurial fly-half Danny Cipriani, Wasps have made an audacious attempt to bring David Pocock to the Aviva Premiership in a potential deal that would make the Australia flanker the highest paid rugby player in the world.
Pocock, whose contract with the Australian Rugby Union expires at the end of the year, is expected to make a decision on his future in the next fortnight.
The 27-year-old is considering taking a sabbatical from rugby to study at an overseas university but is understood to be open to the possibility of playing in England.
Wasps have already put feelers out to his representatives and have indicated that they would offer him a package in excess of the £1.4 million that Racing 92 are paying World Cup-winning fly-half Dan Carter. Pocock is seen as the perfect replacement for George Smith, who is leaving the club.
Pocock is the pre-eminent turnover specialist in world rugby as England found to their high cost in their group-stage elimination by the Wallabies. Signing Pocock would send the clearest signal of intent that Wasps want to join the elite band of European clubs.
Even the size of the figures involved may not be enough to tempt Pocock, who ploughs his own furrow as a committed campaigner on issues ranging from the environment to gay rights.
However, it is understood that Wasps stand a far better chance than French clubs who have previously made similar offers. It would also only be a short-term deal as Pocock intends to play in the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
The feel-good factor at Wasps has been enhanced by the capture of Cipriani, their prodigal son. Despite interest from Harlequins and Toulon, Cipriani returns to his boyhood club on a three-year deal worth an estimated £400,000 a year. (© Daily Telegraph, London)